Meet Our New Contributors: Valerie and Megan

Meet Valerie Earnest:

Hello there, I’m Valerie! I was born in Colorado and moved to Illinois when I was 10.  I moved to Utah and attended college at Brigham Young University, majoring in music education.  After graduating, I took a job teaching high school band in Phoenix, AZ.  I met my soon-to-be husband there, and we married in 2001.  I left teaching in 2005 to stay home with my three kids: Emma (age 11), Kyle (age 9), and Drew (age 7).

In 2010, desperate to have a hobby besides changing diapers and playing with my beautiful kids, I started a craft blog, Occasionally Crafty (www.occasionallycrafty.com), where I focused on crafts, DIY projects, and recipes for busy moms like me!  Though I’m currently on hiatus over there, I still love to create things for my family and friends.

We moved here to Cedar Rapids in July of 2016.  My husband Marcus is a software engineer and we moved here to open a remote office for his company.  Most of our friends thought we were crazy to leave Phoenix for Iowa.  In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to write for Cedar Rapids Moms Blog is to discover and share with my friends and family that there really is more than just corn in Iowa!  I am a Midwest girl at heart, and though I never missed scraping the ice off my car, there’s something about this part of the country that just has my heart.

When I’m not on the computer, you’ll find me reading on my Kindle, teaching piano lessons, playing my flute or piano, or at my church planning my next Cub Scout activity (I’m a den leader and a children’s Sunday School teacher!)  I’m so excited to get to know you readers and make Cedar Rapids my new home!

Credit: Rachael Pearce Photography

Credit: Rachael Pearce Photography

Meet Megan Moore:

Hi everyone! My name is Megan, and I was raised here in Cedar Rapids. During high school I met my now husband, Thomas, and we have been together ever since. After high school I spent a year at the University of Iowa before transferring to Mount Mercy University, where I spent 3.5 long years studying like crazy; while spending every other moment commuting back and forth from Ames to see Thomas. In 2013 I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing and have since been working as a cardiac stroke nurse at Mercy Medical Center. 

As Thomas and I began to start our dream jobs, we also decided to become homeowners. We had begun to realize how small our apartment was and how big our fur child was growing. Our “fluffy horse”, or as we call her, Macey, is now a 120lb Berner. Macey was definitely our first child and is still our biggest baby. In 2014, soon after buying our home in Atkins, we started celebrating and preparing for our little girl, who was born in May of 2015. Our daughter Elaina has been a whirlwind of joy and excitement since she arrived. Today we are enjoying the early toddler years including the tantrums and continuous giggles. When Elaina isn’t trying to get into anything and everything, she loves to chase Macey and our two cats around, or read her books. I definitely would not change this crazy adventure of motherhood for anything.

In my spare time (whatever that is!) I love to read, binge watch my favorite shows on Netflix, or sneak in a good nap. I have a love/hate relationship with trying new recipes for me and my family. Honestly, it depends on how quick it was to make and if they were any good. Otherwise, I just love spending time with my daughter and husband with a good cup of coffee. I am a firm believer that family and friends are what are most important, which is why it is so crucial to find those around you to enjoy life with and support each other along the way.

Credit: Eleanor Kathryn Photography

Credit: Eleanor Kathryn Photography


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